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ConDor - RonO's Ramblings

Feb. 28th, 2010 10:20 pm ConDor

This weekend was ConDor, thus the first time I officially worked a San Diego area con.

Friday Feb. 26

Before we canceled our plans for Australia, Friday would have been a working day. However, with plans canceled, the plan was changed so that I could be there mid-day and help with reg, get the bid table going, and help with hotel issues. I'd also planned on taking public transportation to get down there, before the amount of stuff that was going to be required grew significantly due to me needing to bring all of my own food, and equipment for cooking and heating it. The final change was the result of needing to drop a couple of things off on the way down.

So, after dropping Derrick off, doing some running around (online and on the phone) relating to our credit reports, and packing, I headed off about 10:00 (perhaps later than I should have, but when I'd planned). First, I had to stop at the office of the agency that handles our rental to drop off the rent check, which is located in Downtown Carlsbad. Then, I had to head to the office of the real estate agent who is representing us in the purchase to drop off some paperwork, an office in Rancho Bernardo. This made the two stops I needed to make essentially in oposite directions from each other, and only one was close to the shortest route to the hotel in Mission Valley. Along the way I needed to get gas (which was forgotten about until I was in RB and nearly out), and get change for the bid table (forgotten until I was at the con).

Once I arrived, I determined that I wasn't going to be needed at reg (as it turned out, I was hardly needed at reg), so sat up the adjacent bid table, met with the hotel staff and did some back and forth coordination with robot_grrl while she was getting ready. Before Tara and Derrick showed up, I also got us checked into the hotel room - was was again in the far building.

When I arrived, it was warm and sunny, but it quickly started getting cooler. It wasn't long before I put my sweat shirt back on due to the cool breeze blowing in through the open door, which was finally closed when the smokers set up shop (I was the first person in the area to get cold).

Friday went very smoothly, with only one hotel issue (a missing table, in part due to an assumption on one person that we still had their setup request from years past, not necessarily true, and a threat from the hotel that any further changes would incur charges - since the hotel was regretting having a low-profit contract with the con just after a major renovation in a down economy)

Tara and I turned in fairly early, and I watched some of the Olympics but did my recent usual bit of getting tired before I'd like to and turning in.

Saturday, Feb. 27

Saturday started a bit earlier than ideal, since Derrick woke up hungry at 6:30, and we know from experience the chances of keeping him asleep after that are very slim. We got to the table and reg area a bit after 9:00, and found a few people waiting due to a misprint or miscommunication regarding the start time. But, things got moving fairly quickly, and I was also able to open the bid table.

The day moved pretty well. I got to spend a fair amount of time talking to people, both in general and about the bid (although I don't know if we got any votes, and didn't get any memberships, or sell any t-shirts). Additionally, I sat on one panel on time travel as a plot device. While I was a bit worried I'd be out of my depth, not being sure how many of my fellow panelists were authors and only recognizing Vernor Vinge by name, but I did well, made several astute and on topic observations, and maybe didn't come across as a strictly media fan even though many of my references were drawn from TV shows rather than books.

I did get a quick look through the art show, and the dealer's room, but didn't spend a lot of time or any money.

Shortly before late afternoon, the treasurer and pre-reg person (who was really doing a lot of the reg work not involved with actually passing out badges) did a count and determined that the on-site count was over 500 people, which is better than ConDor has done in 7 or 8 years.

About six, we shut down the bid table and returned to the room to eat. After dinner, and getting Derrick to bed (we were a bit Dersley-ish this weekend, making him sleep in the closet which is about the same size as a twin bed) and headed to the masquerade. Even though there were only six entrants, all of them were very good, and all kept their presentation short, and simple. Most were entertaining, but one, who won the Judge's Choice award, focused her presentation on the costume rather than the character. During the half-time, we were treated to two songs by Steam Powered Giraffe, which was also responsible for us getting a good write up in The San Diego Reader.

After the masquerade, Tara and I hit up the one party, for Confirmation this year (same hosts, different purpose most years), and turned in.

Sunday, Feb. 28

This morning we all got a bit more sleep, but were still going fairly early. After eating, packing and loading the cars, I headed out to set up the bid table, which we got opened a bit before ten. At ten, Tara went off to a panel, leaving me watching the table, and Derrick playing with his game-boy.

But, alas, this did not last. Derrick kept getting exceedingly mad at his game. I warned him once that if he didn't keep getting so mad at his game, I'd take his game-boy away for the day, and less than two minutes later, he was back to being mad at it. So, I followed through on my promise, and made him give it to me. He then transfered his anger to me (in his mind, I was being unreasonable since he had every right to be mad at his game since I wasn't doing well at it) and ended up kicking me. At that point, I knew that I couldn't have him stay at the con if he was going to get violent. So I quickly packed up the bid table, sent Tara a text explaining the situation, checked out and left.

Fortunately, Tara was able to see the chair and programming head and explain why I'd had to leave early. But, I still feel guilty for missing one panel, not being around to help, and possibly missing out on some bid table sales. I'm also unsure what we should do come ConJecture where I'll be running registration (so less able to leave) since it is seeming unlikely that Derrick can be trusted at conventions unless his behavior changes. At this point, I can hope that getting some of the stress out of our lives, and perhaps getting him some of the help we've been amis in getting, will help.

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